WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senior Amy Bieski won bars and the West Virginia gymnastics team scored 193.725 to finish fourth at the 2011 East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) Championship, this evening, at George Washington’s Charles E. Smith Center.
North Carolina repeated as league champions with a 195.3 score. New Hampshire scored 195.175 and finished in second place, while Maryland scored 195.025 and finished third.
The Mountaineers (13-10, 10-4 EAGL) finished first on vault (49.275), seventh on bars (47.575), seventh on beam (47.625) and first on floor (49.25).
“We had some outstanding rotations today, and we had some difficult ones,” says coach Linda Burdette-Good. “We were amazing on floor and had a great showing on vault. We need to figure out how to compete on all four events to have a chance to advance at the regional championships.
“I saw a lot of improvement today. We had a lot of season-best scores, and that says that the hard work we’re doing in the gym is paying off. The girls fought today, and I think they’ll come out strong in two weeks.”
Bieski, the EAGL Gymnast and Outstanding Senior of the Year, won bars with a 9.825 score. She is WVU’s 35th league champion, and first since 2009. The Nanticoke, Pa., native is the sixth Mountaineer bars champion, and the first since former teammate Mehgan Morris won back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009.
“Amy recovered well after a shaky beam routine, and her bars routine was beautiful,” Burdette-Good says. “I’m happy to see that she was able to win a league title her senior season.”
Bieski finished fifth in the all-around with 38.95 points. Today’s score moves her to second place on the all-time WVU career points list with 1,940.6 points. She is now 130.05 points short of all-time leader Janáe Asbury (2,070.65).
Maryland’s Abigail Adams finished first overall with 39.4 points. UNC’s Morgan Evans scored 39.3 and placed second, while NC State’s Jess Panza tallied 39.25 to finish in third place.
In addition to Bieski’s bars victory, she also finished tied for second on floor with a 9.875 score.
Competing in her first league championship, freshman Hope Sloanhoffer placed second on beam and vault with 9.9 and 9.875 scores, respectively; the Cornwall, N.Y., native’s beam score is a career best. Additionally, junior Tina Maloney, the 2009 EAGL vault co-champion, tied Sloanhoffer for second place on the event.
The Mountaineers opened the championship in seventh place with a 47.625 showing on beam.
Sloanhoffer anchored a shaky lineup with her career-best score. Prior to today’s meet, she hit 9.875 three times. Sophomore Chelsea Goldschrafe opened the rotation with a 9.675, while senior Stephanie Keaton scored 9.45.
Adam’s scored 9.925 on beam in the meet’s sixth rotation to knock Sloanhoffer off the top of the podium.
WVU wasted no time mounting its comeback, scoring a season-best 49.25 on floor and pushing its two-event score to 96.875. After four complete rotations, WVU ranked sixth.
Five Mountaineers scored 9.8 or better on floor. Bieski paced the squad with her season-best score, while Maloney and Goldschrafe each scored a career-high 9.85. Sloanhoffer also tallied 9.85, and the trio finished in a 12-way tie for fifth place. Sophomore Kaylyn Millick scored 9.825.
In the seventh rotation, Pitt’s Mallory Brewer scored 9.9 on floor for the title.
WVU continued its streak of 49.0-plus scores on vault, tallying 49.275, its second-best score of the season. With only two rotations remaining, the Mountaineers sat in fourth place with a team total of 146.15.
Maloney and Sloanhoffer anchored the team’s rotation with their near-sticks. Bieski and sophomore Alaska Richardson preceded the duo with 9.85 showings, good enough for fifth place. Additionally, Goldschrafe concluded her career day with an 11th-place 9.825 score.
UMD’s Ally Krikorian scored 9.9 in the second rotation for the vault crown.
With an outside shot of jumping into the top three in the meet’s last rotation, WVU closed the day with a 47.575 bars score.
Bieski’s meet-winning score was her fourth 9.8-plus score of the year. Seniors Emily Kerwin and Faye Meaden scored 9.7 and tied for 14th-place.
Of note, gymnast that finished in an event’s top eight were named to the all-tournament first team, while those that finished ninth-16th were named to the second team.
The Mountaineers now must wait to hear if they have qualified for the 2011 NCAA Championships. Georgia plays host to this year’s southeast regional on Saturday, April 2, at 6 p.m., at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga. The Mountaineers have qualified for the regional championship in 32 of the last 33 years.